My Blog

Posts for: April, 2016

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
April 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat:

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”

By Dr. Mehr Tucker
April 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Broken Crown  

How dental implants can replace a broken tooth

You’ve had that dental crown for years, and now all of a sudden, it has broken off at the root, leaving an ugly stump under your gums. Now what? There’s not enough left to put another crown there. You’re not sure you want a dental bridge or Dental Implantspartial, so what else is there? The answer is a dental implant, the modern, state-of-the-art way to replace your broken or missing tooth. Dr. Mehr Tucker in Rockville, Maryland wants you to know how dental implants work and why they are the best tooth replacement solution.

Dental implants are placed in your jaw, and over time, they become embedded and surrounded by bone. Dental implants are created out of titanium which has the unique capability of fusing with your bone. They become a permanent part of your smile. Titanium is also biocompatible, which means it is kind to your hard and soft tissue, so your body won’t reject it. In fact, dental implants have a success rate of over 95 percent, the highest of any surgical implant.

Once your tissue and bone has healed and your implant is securely fixed into bone, it will function as the “root” of your tooth. As a final step, Dr. Tucker will cap your dental implant with a beautiful new crown.

There are many advantages of dental implants. Dr. Tucker wants you to know that with dental implants you will experience:

  • Cosmetic beauty, because they look just like your natural teeth
  • Increased convenience, because you don’t have to take them out
  • Stability, because they never move around when you eat or speak
  • Increased satisfaction, because you can eat what you want
  • A more youthful look, because they help to create a firm jawline

Dental implants are also a conservative treatment because Dr. Tucker doesn’t have to restore the teeth around the implant.

If you have broken a dental crown past the point of restoration, don’t despair! A dental implant can fill in the gap in your smile, permanently and beautifully. Call Dr. Mehr Tucker in Rockville, Maryland to find out more about what dental implants can do for you. Don’t wait, call today and take care of that broken crown with a dental implant!


Poor bites, also known as “malocclusions,” can have a dramatic impact on mouth function and appearance. Moving teeth to better positions will solve most of these bite problems — but not all.

A case in point is a malformed maxilla, the skeletal structure formed by the union of the upper jaw and the roof of the mouth (the palate). If the rear portion of the maxilla develops too narrowly, the back teeth will bite abnormally inside the lower teeth while the front teeth bite normally, creating what’s known as a crossbite. People with this kind of malocclusion often shift their lower jaw to one side to bite down completely.

This can be corrected without too much intervention if the problem is diagnosed while the person is young. This is because the maxilla is actually formed from two bones that don’t completely fuse together in the center of the palate until just after puberty. An orthodontic appliance known as a palatal expander takes advantage of this slight gap. The metal appliance is placed along the narrowed portion of the palate in the rear of the mouth: four metal “arms,” two on each side, attach to the inside of the back teeth with a tension device between them that extends the arms outward to put pressure against the teeth.

Every day the patient or a parent uses a special key to turn the tension device and cause it to expand slightly, placing additional outward pressure on the jaw. This will widen the gap in the center of the palate and new bone will grow to fill in the increased space. Over time this will cause the rear portion of maxilla to widen.

While effective, a palatal expander may not work in every case, and it must be done before the two bones fuse permanently. When it can be used, though, it’s a proven treatment that can restore proper bite function, as well as improve your child’s smile.

If you would like more information on palatal expanders to correct certain bite problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Palatal Expanders.”